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COURTESY OF ATIKA SCHOOL
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows
The statements, events and reactions of the past couple of weeks surrounding the perennially vexed subject of corruption makes me wonder. Are we on the cusp of the challenge to and confrontation against corruption?
Certainly we have come a long way in identifying and isolating it. Let me give a small example .Twenty one years ago, I wrote a piece for the Sunday Nation which was entitled ”Why Kenya’s looting brigade now has its eyes on public land”
The main thrust of the article was that after the monetary excesses of 1992 and 1993, there was a growing penchant for Kenya’s looting brigade to next move their focus and activities to public land. The process was as simple as was crude . A handful of politically connected private individuals or entities would get allocated a prime piece of public land for a nominal sum. A title would be processed and then it would be sold ,in part or whole, at a much higher price to a public institution that had the cash resources. It became known as “land grabbing” and most Kenyans can give countless examples of where this has taken place . It was double plunder because not was the land grabbed; it was often paid out of public resources or savings that were meant for other things.
Today we talk about this activity and make references to it with alacrity and in most cases without fear. Not so in 1994. When I first wrote the piece and offered it to the Sunday Nation ,It passed the relevant tests of being well researched and factually correct, but publishing it was another matter. There was culture of fear that surrounded the whole county and putting one’s head above the parapet was regarded as dangerous and reckless . The piece was pushed around and a couple of editorial desks and the decision to publish was deferred for a while I recall I was requested to “soften” the piece .When it it did eventually get printed ,I was very much aware that that I might get a backlash and braced myself accordingly. Today there is much less remaining of that culture of fear but as we have remained several times recently ,corruption at many levels continues unabated. The dossier compiled by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Authority (EACC) is evidence enough. The stance made by the president on Thursday is also encouraging .
So where to now ? There is no doubt that the public outrage the majority of the population, who are mare victims as opposed to beneficiaries .is gathering the momentum of landslide proportions. We should not underestimate that growing anger . This is both unsurprising and gratifying . for most of us , corruption just makes our lives much tougher ,more fatiguing and even expensive.
The big question is:how seriously will those who have been named take it ?. the norm is many countries which aspire to high integrity standards is that when a person is named by such a body as the EACC ,then that person should step aside . The onus is on the relevant bodies to complete investigations and prosecute as and when necessary and for the person named to defend him or herself.
That is where we should be heading. The presidential should make it clear that all the people named in the scandal should step aside. If we move down that road ,then we are indeed heading in the right direction. If we do not then this will just be another bout of public gesturing of the bread and circuses variety.
Lastly, the EACC and in turn the Director of Public Prosecution ,need to do some ground work to fully support and, where applicable ,prosecute what is being alleged. We are watching and in a number of cases, rather skeptically.
Love is madness.
Hard brutal madness
Love is fire
Love is a chameleon
A camouflaged dangerous chameleon
Hot fiery love,
I beg you……….
Put out your brazing flame,
Because I desire to fell for you
Hand remorseful love
Please change your stance
Before the fire of of my youth
(from the African saga by Susan N. Kiguli)
MAURICE A NYAMOTI
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